MJ’s Iceman Cometh Weekend


(I couldn’t decide on what parts of my weekend I could leave out, so I didn’t leave anything out! Ha!)

Thursday morning Travis and I met up with Jeremiah Bishop  and Bob Myers for some tasteybreakfast before we parted ways with Bob (non-biking life kept him home bound this year 😦 ), picked up Steve Twining (Trek Ohio Valley) and headed to Traverse City, Michigan and (insert cool, theatre voice guy here) thee ICEMANNN COMETHHH!! 

This gave us all of Friday to mainly kick back and prep for the race.  We headed over to Timber Ridge (the finish line) to pre-ride some of the courses final few miles.  I headed out on my own to ride out and back and decide how ready or so-not-ready I was for my new SS scene.  After a comfy paced 10 miles I just wasn’t sure.  The gear felt pretty good, but without the race pace and full 27 miles in my legs I just didn’t know how my body would respond.  No biggie.  I was very excited to be there and would find out soon enough!

iceman-start-am-29:30a Saturday.  I lined up with the singlespeed ladies, singlespeedmen 40+ and the sport/expert tandem riders.  A total of around 80 bikes.. just for my 1 heat/stage out of 30!!  That is so crazy and SO awesome!  There is definitely an additional rush to racing with that many lining up at the start line.  My belly was full of butterflies, the announcer guy entertains us for a few before he gives us our count down and we’re outta there!  Before we even cross the road I can see a few girls double timing to my own cadence and thought if I can just maintain through the whole race I should be able to stay ahead of them!  That was a cool yet unnerving thought.  Excitement and motivation to find my zone ASAP, but concerns that any thoughts of confidence so early is a gluten for punishment in MJ’s world. 

Speaking of no time for unnecessary confidence (I dontknow why that always messes withme instead of helps.) within the first mile or so a “SAND” sign is posted and before I know it I am in the deep stuff and walking up a short climb with a few others.  Crap!  I’m already off my bike!?  Focus, focus, focus, MJ!  OK, I’m back on and rolling good.  Within the next few miles I take note of two SS girls and how we are pacing pretty well together.  I start to keep an eye on them bothhoping I can tag along withat least one of them for the rest of our ride/race.  I make my way along side Carol Johnson (Trek Stores of Madison/no relation) and we chat when possible, but its the other girl that I continue to pace with most of the race.  We eventually start some chat also (I don’t know if that’s a girl thing or an MJ thing) and I met Regina from Wisconsin. 

I had already decided I was very happy with my gear.  It was such a different kind of race for me, and I was totally enjoying the rolling hills and having that whole new racing experience.  No shifting down, no prepping to spin… as I approached any hills I’d try to pick up my cadence and get as much momentum as possibly before climbing and having to grind my way up and over the tops!  Sooo fun, but I could also feel it wearing me down quite a bit.  As I would start to fade out at times or think I would need to walk I would spot Regina and follow her lead.  She pulled me through a lot of the course!  At times she would drop me completely, but if I would catch a glimpse of her orange jersey I would try to pick it up a notch and catch back up.  I could only maintain the high cadence in very short intervals.  This went on most of the race and her presence really kept me focused and made it a lot of fun!    

So around five miles to go I spot the tutu.  A girl I recall from the start line wearing a ballerina tutu over her tights and on a SS!  I toss out to Regina “the tutu girl is on a singlespeed!” and something along the lines of “lets get her!” which is so funny coming from me!  I was surprised I didn’t kurplunkright into another sand pit at that very moment (I’m good like that.)   With some additional efforts we made it around tutu girl and continued on to the last few miles!  Oh my gosh that was exciting!  Around one mile to go Regina pulls away from me on a hill and yells out “See you at the finish!”  My first thought is “so your leaving me now?  after all we’ve biked together!?”  Just kidding, but I do think, “I’m coming with ya!” but she is so gone!  haha!  She pulled away in no time.  I think I reached “survival mode” more than a few miles back and was happy to stay in front of tutu girl more than anything and happy for Regina having such a strong finish.  I cross the finish line at 2:22:20.  Just last year I finished the Sport 19-34 category in 2:19, so I’m really happy with my performance! 🙂


pb080189I find the guys we go back to the start so Travis, Steve and Jeremiah can finally get their 2:30p race on.. Jeremiah wins!  Ni-eeece!!  Steve nabs 20th (woo hoo!) and Travis takes 30th! (yeah!)  I’m so proud! 🙂  As we start to pack up I take Jeremiah’s bike to load up in the truck… of course, I had to get a spin on the WINNING bike!!  I couldn’t sit and pedal at the same time, but I buzzed around like it fit me like a glove!  So, so fun!!  

6pm.  We clean up (no time to eat.. wah!) and head over to the awards scene.  I’m am SO excited anticipating getting called on stage for my 5th place finish!  It may as well been a win for me!  ha!  We wait.. and wait.. and wait.. and I track down Regina and make sure I didn’t miss the women singlespeeds.. nope, not yet.. and wait.. and after about two hours of awards amongst all our chit chat I hear pb080198“women singlespeed category” so I put my arms up and stop our circle of conversation just in time for us all to hear “Michelle Johnson from Butler, PA!”  I am borderline ill from the combination of starvation and exhaustion, but I perk up like nothing you’ve ever seen and run my 5th place butt right up on stage!! YEEEEEEEAHHHHHH!!!!!    I had my brief moment of fame to the now 2/3 empty room and sign for my little metal.  It was so worth the wait! hahahaa!

We finally head out to eat around 8pm, which feels like midnight!  I guess the very long and full day finally pb080114caught up big time.  We eat, drink and are all pretty merry as we get to celebrate Jeremiah’s win with him and his ginormous iceman cup!  Then as the party scene is just getting started for everyone else, I am very happy to go back to the hotel and saw some logs for the night.


pb090137Sunday.  As we start our long drive home it looks like the ice..err.. snowman cometh and we drove about 2 hours in a beautiful wintery wonderland before the snow slowly faded out the further south we got and its back to boring old, non-white cold weather… for now!  The Iceman was once again a most fabulous event and like a potato chip…  just one will never be enough! 



Bob Myers for always being so supportive and such a good friend!  Thanks to Travis Ott and Mike Shrift who took care of all of us after the race in the Fisher VIP tent and for dinner.. yum!  Thanks to Chris Clinton and Sam (Bontrager aka B.(dot) guys!) for being so cool and HILariously funny to me while hanging out and for the Bontrager hat for my little head.  You guys GOTTA look us up if your ever in the Burgh!   Thanks to Ryan O’Dell (OMBC) for the entry into the race and helping motivate me to go SINGLESPEEEED! WEEEE!!   And thanks to Trek of Pittsburgh for always taking care of me and my rides!!

I wouldn’t trade my bikes or racing for anything!!  Good, good times!  See you all, my awesome racer buds, next season! 🙂


One response to this post.

  1. Congrats MJ!! You rock!!!


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